How Crypto Can Unleash Economic Growth In Namibia

Ms.Aminah Ndeulita, Economist and Chief Executive Officer, Ariel Crypto

Namibia has been edging towards embracing cryptocurrencies for a while now, but more work is required if the country is to unleash the full potential this radical new technology offers.

In July last year, Parliament passed the Virtual Assets Act into law. This regulation mandated the establishment of a regulator to oversee the crypto sector and set out the requirements that service providers like cryptoexchanges must meet to obtain licences.

While this may sound like a niche legal development, in fact the move represented a major shift for the authorities in Namibia. Only a few years ago, back in 2018, the central bank announced it was strongly against the use of crypto as a method of payment for goods and services.
Although this position was eventually dropped last year, it is a sign of how resistant some of Namibia’s institutions have traditionally been to the innovation that is taking place in the world of crypto and decentralized finance.

Cryptos have many use-cases, but perhaps the most valuable one for Namibia at this stage is its ability to transform payment infrastructures. Payments made via the blockchain, the highly advanced technology underpinning cryptocurrencies, are completed almost instantly and with negligible costs.

Put simply, the result is that business processes are sped up, more activity takes place, and higher levels of economic growth are achieved and sustained.

Cryptocurrencies can also unleash higher economic growth by fostering improved trade and commerce with our immediate neighbours in southern Africa, and economies around the world. Given the blockchain is global in scope, payments can be made instantly and for little cost to any individual or business in the world. This is the case whether you are making a transfer to family or friends in South Africa or Zambia or trading with a company in the United States.
Especially given that southern Africa suffers from some of the slowest transfer and highest foreign exchange related fees anywhere in the world – consumers can easily be charged 10% or more for a simple procedure – it is clear that using crypto for domestic and international payments can cut costs dramatically and therefore increase Namibia’s competitiveness.

Policymakers and business leaders in Namibia should welcome the introduction of cryptocurrencies because this new payments system is a crucial element of Namibia unlocking a new era of economic growth.

It is positive that Parliament is beginning to establish a regulatory framework for the industry, but we need more action to ensure all Namibians feel the benefit of this innovation. We need further legal guidelines to give domestic and foreign investors the confidence to place their money and trust in Namibia’s emerging crypto scene. And we need to educate Namibians on the potential of this technology and how they can use it to improve their financial lives.

The opportunity is there for crypto to unleash the immense potential of Namibia’s economy – it is now down to all of us to grasp it.
Author: Aminah Ndeulita, Economist and CEO of Ariel Crypto in Windhoek







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